Classic Airframes 1/48 Reggiane Re.2000
Falco I
by Ettore Girodano
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The Reggiane 2000 was a modern aircraft constructed entirely of metal under the general direction of the Ing. Longhi. Following Longhi’s experiences in the United States he began design of this stellar aircraft; introducing new construction techniques to the Reggiane firm such as the use of aluminum and the construction of wings as a single piece. Looking at the aircraft there are some obvious similarities to the Seversky P- 35; however the Re. 2000 was significantly more powerful and modern in its design. Comparative tests against the Me.109 E indicated the Re.2000 was more maneuverable and more stable in flight; in combat simulations with the Me.109 the Re.2000 demonstrated its marked superiority. However unfortunately the Falco’s engine, as it was christened, a Piaggio P.IX R.C. 40, was not always reliable; a handicap of the aircraft that it would carry to the end of its career. Unfortunately in spite of test flights ansd results the Regia Aeronautica was still undecided, pointing out the location of the fuel tanks represented a serious risk to pilots (a similar problem with the P-47); this particular problem however did not deter foreign interest in the aircraft which included purchase orders from Sweden, Hungary and Britain. The purchase order from Britain would eventually be canceled because of war.

Following the construction of the prototype, there followed four variants of the aircraft: an interceptor, a catapult launched version for the Regia Marina, the ‘bis’ and the G.A. (Grande Autonomia, Long Range Fighter). The ‘bis’ version was a transition aircraft before the definitive G.A. was put into production, brandishing a large additional fuel tank located behind the pilots seat as well as replacing the all glass canopy with the typical Italian scalloped headrest for safety purposes. The Re. 2000 was used by the newly formed Experimental Squadron of the 23o Gruppo, 3o Stormo based at Comiso and the 377a Sq., an Independent Squadron based at Palermo, Bocca di Falco Airforce Base and also with a section at Trapani. The 377a Sq. used the Re. 2000 extensively, and as it turned out was the only RA operating unit completely equipped with the fighter, having received the entire assignment to the Regia Aeronautica (18 aircraft); except those catapult types destined for use on the great battleships. From their deployment in Sicily, the Re. 2000 operated against Malta, dividing its missions into convoy escort, ground attack, the attacking of ports and interception. During one operation a Re.2000 of the 377a Sq. intercepted an British Blenheim shooting it down in the ensuing battle, this it seems being the only recorded aerial engagement of this squadron.

Technical Data:
Aircraft:
Caproni-Reggaine Re.2000
Manufacturer: Officine Meccaniche 'Reggaine' S.p.A. (Caproni)
Type:
Fighter
Year: 1939
Engine: Piaggio P.XI RC 40, 14-cyclinder radial, air-cooled, 986hp
Wingspan:
36.0 ft 1 in  (11.0 m)
Length:
26.0 ft 2 1/2 in (7.99 m)
Height:
10.0 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Weight:
6,290 lb (2,850 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed:
329 mph (530 km/h) at 16,400 ft (5,000 m)
Ceiling:
34,450 ft (10,500 m)
Range:
870 miles (1,400 km)
Armament:
2 x 12.7 mm (0.5 in) BREDA-SAFAT machine guns
Crew: 1

Additional Images
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July, 2006
Copyright © 2006
Construction
In this build I construct a Re.2000 based at “Bocca di Falco” in 1942; the camouflage is a rather complex scheme composed of a three tone camouflage scheme of the period, preceding the Tavola 10 colors and schemes.  I sprayed an intricate mottle of dark green with a tone tending to the green. The tailplanes remained basically in the original camouflage (single tone color).  I chose to construct an aircraft with the white fuselage band, red 5, with the squadron emblem characterized by the blue triangle on the sides of each fuselage and an owl perched on a moon. I recall, when I presented my article last year of a Cr 42 CN 377a Sq., the CR.42 CN carried the same coat of arms, denoting the squadrons nocturnal activities. In any case the colors in use here were: undersides Giallo Mimetico 3 with mottles of Verde Mimetico 1 and Marrone Mimetico 2, with lines of Verde Oliva Scuro 2; the interiors were finished in a gray camo while the cowling was painted red, to indicate aircraft of the second section of 377a Sq., with the first section of aircraft painted in a black cowl. The kit used here was the Classic Airframes 1/48 Re.2000 Serie III, all things considered its quite a nice base to build a model of the Re.2000. Having already constructed a Classic Airframes Mc 200 and knowing well the fine attributes of these kits, as well as some of the defects characteristic of the short run kits; primarily it is noted that dry fitting is a necessity to be sure all parts attach and fit well, particularly the resin cockpit needs some attention: lateral bulkheads, footrest, and the instrument panel lack detail; the sidewalls of the fuselage also need sanding. The finished cockpit is quite attractive after having added tubes, wires, gauges and instruments using photographs and from Govi’s Reggiane Fighters as well as Aviolibri dedicated to this aircraft.

Painting the model, I began with a Model Master grey primer; after allowing some time to dry and then sanding the primer using 1200 grit sand paper to eliminate any defects. I used Humbrol 140 for the grey camo interior; and dry brushed all relief detail. For Giallo Mimetico 3, I used Gunze H34 in which I toned down using a tinge of white.  I used Gunze H302 for Verde Mimetico 1.  Gunze 65 was used for Verde Oliva Scuro 2. I used Model Master 1736 for Marrone Mimetico 2 to complete the camo scheme. Do take note the cowling is undersized and the shape is also incorrect, conical vs a cylindrical shape, therefore it is suggested reconstruct it or correct it.

Although I prefer injection molded kits, the short run kits provide a wide range of difficult to find subjects and you who knows, perhaps we may soon see the final development of the CR.42, or a modernized 1/48 G.55 or a 1/48 Caproni 313 or still yet a 1/48 CR 25? But these are only of personal desires …